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Video Game / Runers

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Runers is a top-down 2D Roguelike created by LGK Games (short for Let's Get Kraken, a team of two college friends) and published by Mastertronic Group for PC on Steam in 2014. In it, the player, who can be any one of 20 races and 20 classes, is tasked with getting to the bottom of a 10-floor dungeon. They can run into more than 100 enemy varieties and encounter 10 out of 15 bosses on their way.

The key part of the game is its Spell Crafting system, which is accomplished through combining the titular runes. There are 10 types of runes - Fire, Water, Air, Earth, Light, Dark, Speed, Shock, Mind and Entropy. While you only start with one Rune at first, you'll soon get more, and will be able to start combining them. Each spell can consist of up to three runes, thus making for a total of 285 spells. However, each combination of runes must also be sealed with a two-rune or three-rune "combiner", which are quite rare.

Tropes present in this game:

  • Arbitrary Weapon Range: One of the stats determines how long each of your projectiles will travel for before dissipating. It's not directly equivalent to range from "The Binding of Isaac'' and the like, because there's also a speed stat: it's theoretically possible to have a slow-travelling projectile that persists for a long time, or a fast projectile that quickly fades out, although ideally one would want to have both stats up.
  • Badass Bookworm: All of the elf characters are bookworms by default, described as the most studious and so the wisest race. Thus, they get +2 to all rune levels, but also have all stats lowered by 2%.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: Various giant bugs are a frequent enemy.
  • Blackout Basement: All of the floors are underlit, with there being a circle of light around your character, and the rest being dark enough to conceal your enemies, if not the basic shape of the room.
  • Blow You Away: The Air runes' power. Using one of these runes alone creates "Air Wave" spell, which simply knocks the enemies away from you.
  • Bullet Hell: Rooms with large numbers of ranged enemies soon turn into this.
  • Collision Damage: Many of the enemies will deal this to you. However, choosing Efreet class will allow your character to deal fire damage on collision with the enemies as well, though it comes at the cost of weakening your other attacks by 10%.
  • Crate Expectations: Plain wooden crates, large and small, are frequent present inside the rooms, even if there's nothing else inside.
  • Critical Hit: Possible, and affected by some of the stats. There's also a stat that affects your resistance/vulnerability to criticals.
    • Deific Assassin characters can imbue an attack with 100% crit chance through a Deific Strike skill.
  • Dash Attack: Soldier's Charge and Duelist's Bladestorm class skills amount to this.
  • Deflector Shields: You can craft multiple variations of these.
  • Dem Bones: A frequent enemy in the dungeon.
  • Die, Chair, Die!: You can break crates and the like with your spells to get stuff.
  • Difficulty Levels: Five of them. However, only the first two are available on the first playthrough.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: The Earth runes. Using a single unenhanced Earth rune results in an Earth Spike, but combinations yield far better results.
  • Easy-Mode Mockery: There are five difficulty levels, and the lowest one is named "Wimpy".
  • Heal Thyself: Some of the enemies have this power. In particular, some of the champion enemies can heal themselves faster than the players can damage them with low-level health.
  • Humans Are Average: Played absolutely straight. Choosing a human grants "Absolute Normalcy" trait, which simply increases all stats by 5%.
  • Knockback: One of the stats you can alter. It is set at 100% by default, and can get weaker or stronger, depending on how you level up, and on your spell combination. There are also spells devoted to knocking targets back, like Air Wave. Demonic Warlocks' class power Demon Blast is completely dedicated to knockback.
  • Limit Break: When levelling up, you can get some traits that only activate when your HP gets below a certain point. For instance, "Last Will" stuns all the enemies in the room when your health falls below 5%. Orcs get a Green Fury passive that raises their damage by 1% for every 2 HP below the maximum values (though this caps after they lose 100 HP to get 50% boost.)
  • Magic Missile: Most of the offensive spells function in this manner. This is also the name of the default Light rune spell.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: The Chimera race are drawn as furred bipeds with the head of the lion in the center and those of a goat and a lizard to the left and right. This gives them 7% chance of casting two spells at once.
  • Monster Compendium: There's an in-game bestiary.
  • Mook Maker: An early example are rat holes, which will keep spawning rats until destroyed.
  • Playing with Fire: The Fire runes do this. Using just one of these runes gives you Kindle - a rather unimpressive fireball, but combinations lead to far better results. I.e. two Fire runes result in a Flamethrower blast, Fire and Dark leads to a Slow Burn spell, Fire and Earth creates Mini Meteor, two Fires and a Water produces heavily damaging Magma Lazer, two Fires and Air create epically named Dinixia's Stars, etc.
  • Psychic Powers: The Mind runes account to this. The default attack of a Mind Rune is Mind Spike.
  • Rat Stomp: Rats are some of the earliest enemies you'll face.
  • Rodents of Unusual Size: Unfortunately, that doesn't just include normal rats, but also ones that are horse-sized.
  • RPG Elements: Your character can be formed from any one of the 20 races and 20 classes, although the only effect they have is to give you a starting trait. Afterwards, they gain experience and level up, which allows them to choose one out of several additional traits. There are also stats you can alter: speed, damage dealt, damage taken from attacks, reload time, projectile speed, projectile longevity, projectile size and knockback. While speed is an integer value, the rest are all percentages that modify the pre-existing stats of your spells (or grant percent of resistance/vulnerability to monsters' attacks, in case of "damage taken" stat.)
  • Shock and Awe: The Shock rune powers. The default, single-rune attack is Spark.